Do you think cyber security is an issue…our President does.
“If we don’t act we'll leave our nation and economy vulnerable…if we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.”
As the President spoke these words Tuesday night, it reminded me of how big of a year cyber insurance will be, for business owners, consumers, agents, and insurance companies. This topic will be spoken about over and over again throughout the year and beyond. In my opinion, there will be more cyber liability policies issued this year than ever before. There will be more conversations about the topic and frustrations about the issue. This conversation includes all of us. So what do we do?
First, we identify where we stand. For most of us, the answer is that we are exposed. For all of us, maybe we forever will be as our lives continue to be inputted into computer systems. Which brings us to the question, how do we protect this personal information and data? Maybe the answer is we can’t and if so, the next question is are we going to need help when an issue occurs?
From a business standpoint, if you use credit card machines, if you have client information stored in a data base, if you do business online, or if you have employees who use mobile devices (i.e. cell phones, laptops, ipads) that could be lost, stolen, or compromised, you are at risk.
For consumers, I think the information has been brought forth over the past few years that we are all vulnerable seemingly no matter what we do. I can speak from personal experience as twice in 2014 my personal information was compromised. The first time, it was due to a local coffee shop that I frequent which resulted in someone having a field day at a Wal-Mart in Dayton, Ohio to the tune of $982. The second time was from Home Depot and someone had made seven purchases in Spain that totaled over $1,000. Here’s a secret, I don’t currently hold a valid passport and that was my defense. Now for me, I was able to get all charges rectified in both instances but I can only imagine how many other people were affected and what the total dollar amount of what that might have been.
For agents this is simple. We all insure people who operate just about any business you can imagine. Just about all of them currently find themselves or as technology unfolds, will find themselves vulnerable to this issue. The perception these days is that all industry and news is speaking to the subject and agents across the country are scrambling to educate themselves on the issues.
This is no different for insurance companies as well as they are adapting their policy language, to exclude coverage in some cases or on some products such as your conventional general liability policies. On the other side of this, they are also providing stand alone insurance options that will address these exposures in a comprehensive manner. You will also find this coverage is now available on the majority of small business owner policies as these companies have found that the exposure exists for almost all of us. If you specifically run a small business, here is a quick link that can get you started, if you’re curious about pricing for one of these products.
In closing, this isn't the first time you have heard this and it certainly won’t be the last. If interested, you can view the provided document on commercial general liability vs. cyber liability coverage in order to gain a better understanding on the differences. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on the topic at hand, I can be contacted at 877-352-2121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.